Aleksandra Słyż - A Vibrant Touch - ElMuelle1931
Aleksandra Słyż - A Vibrant Touch - ElMuelle1931
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Aleksandra Słyż - A Vibrant Touch

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Warm Winters Ltd. / Slovakia / 2022 

Polish composer Aleksandra Słyż joins Warm Winters Ltd. with A Vibrant Touch, her second full-length album. While her debut Human Glory released by Pointless Geometry explored two distinct approaches and techniques, here she finds her unique path forward: finding connections between acoustic and synthetic sounds, creating rich drone structures, slowly but intensely pulsing and resonating within the surrounding space and within each listener.

“I am very much fascinated by the processes related to the body sensations experienced through sound and its movement. I have always perceived sound as a physical phenomenon, travelling as waves of energy, as vibrations which we can literally feel and physically experience,” she shares. “Therefore, from the very beginning I wanted to use recordings of specific acoustic instruments, which in my opinion beautifully represent the motion itself.” Joining Słyż and her modular synthesizer on A Vibrant Touch is a quartet of musicians playing violin (Kosma Műller), viola (Kamil Babka), cello (Anna Szmatoła) and alto saxophone (Marcus Wärnheim).

The three pieces on the album explore the physicality of sound of these instruments – like the way a finger or bow presses down on the string of a cello, or the air pressure in the saxophone when someone blows inside it – as they intertwine with expert navigation of modular synthesizers by Słyż. Drawing on the work of 20th century spectral composers like Grisey or Scelsi, just intonation, drone music and microtonality for inspiration, the Polish composer uses dissonance, tension and pulse with incredible grace and power.

She opens the proceedings with the patient, gliding and stirring piece “Healing”. “The Ruthless Act” is slightly more ominous and grainy, as the cello and modular synthesizer mimic each other's movements to disorienting effect. The final piece “Softness, Flashes, Floating Rage” is a monumental composition lasting almost 26 minutes, a crowning jewel of the album. Słyż and the instrumentalists are exceedingly patient as the piece slowly unravels into a brutal, heart- and ear-shattering climax. It's a testament to her compositional prowess, that a piece of this length is imbued with so much weight and elegance.

𝘛𝘩𝘦 𝘥𝘢𝘳𝘬 𝘴𝘶𝘯𝘴 𝘩𝘦 𝘤𝘢𝘳𝘳𝘪𝘦𝘥 𝘰𝘯 𝘩𝘪𝘴 𝘨𝘭𝘰𝘸𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘵𝘰𝘯𝘨𝘶𝘦,
𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘪𝘳 𝘴𝘱𝘦𝘢𝘳𝘴 𝘴𝘭𝘢𝘴𝘩𝘦𝘥 𝘵𝘩𝘳𝘰𝘶𝘨𝘩 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘴𝘪𝘭𝘷𝘦𝘳 𝘣𝘦𝘥𝘳𝘰𝘤𝘬’𝘴 𝘵𝘩𝘶𝘯𝘥𝘦𝘳𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘩𝘶𝘮.
𝘐 𝘸𝘢𝘵𝘤𝘩𝘦𝘥 𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘮 𝘱𝘪𝘦𝘳𝘤𝘦 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘩𝘰𝘳𝘯𝘴 𝘰𝘧 𝘴𝘵𝘢𝘳𝘴,
𝘭𝘦𝘵 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘭𝘦𝘢𝘥-𝘩𝘦𝘢𝘷𝘺 𝘧𝘳𝘰𝘵𝘩 𝘴𝘰𝘢𝘬 𝘵𝘩𝘳𝘰𝘶𝘨𝘩 𝘮𝘦.
𝘓𝘪𝘬𝘦 𝘢 𝘴𝘸𝘰𝘳𝘥’𝘴 𝘧𝘭𝘢𝘮𝘦 𝘪𝘯 𝘢 𝘩𝘰𝘸𝘭𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘯𝘪𝘨𝘩𝘵,
𝘐 𝘥𝘳𝘰𝘱𝘱𝘦𝘥 𝘵𝘩𝘳𝘰𝘶𝘨𝘩 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘮𝘰𝘴𝘴 𝘸𝘩𝘦𝘳𝘦𝘪𝘯 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘭𝘪𝘨𝘩𝘵 𝘳𝘦𝘴𝘵𝘦𝘥
𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘭𝘦𝘵 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘤𝘰𝘭𝘥 𝘸𝘢𝘵𝘦𝘳𝘴 𝘵𝘢𝘬𝘦 𝘮𝘦 𝘵𝘰 𝘔𝘰𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘳.